Yixing pairing


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Re: Yixing pairing

Postby ImmortaliTEA » Dec 28th, '12, 16:29

Exempt wrote:
jayinhk wrote:
Exempt wrote:And Adam, I do have a couple gaiwans and 2 yixing pots (albiet not great). I am fairly experienced with puerh but I am only beginning to venture into oolong. I have decided that I enjoy wuyi and dan congs more than any other type and that is why I wanted to dedicate a yixing teapot.


IMO Wuyi oolongs and Dancong benefit less from Yixing use than pu erh, but a good pot will make it taste better. Kind of sick of dancong at present, but I use two thin walled zisha Yixings for my TGY and SX and I do feel they bring the best out of my tea and allow me to keep the temperature up, especially in later infusions.

This is probably a stupid question but if the goal is to keep the heat up, why does everyone seem to recommend thin porcelain or thin yixing for oolongs? It seems that the thicker the material the longer it should retain heat


I believe the reason why some people recommend thin yixing or thin porcelain for oolongs is because sometimes people might be referring to a lighter oxidized or roasted type of oolong such as green TGY, Gaoshan, 20% Green Dan Chong, or Bai Ji Guan. For me personally, I do not like to brew any of the above teas in anything with thick walls (because I don't like the collard greens/spinach taste that can occur with lighter oolongs that have been "stewed" with too much heat) and they all should come out great in a nice thin gaiwan, however, having a very thin yixing can bring out certain characteristics that wouldn't be there if brewed in a glazed vessel such as a gaiwan. Now when it comes to darker oolongs such as all the other Wuyi Yan Cha's (besides Bai Ji Guan and if med to high fired), high fire TGY, or roasted Gaoshan; I would have to say that I always prefer a thick walled yixing of a particular clay that suits my tastes for those tea types such as Zi Sha, Hong Ni, Qing Shui Ni, or Di Cao Qing. I think the problem here lies in what the person brewing wants to bring out of the tea. Some people want the tea to taste exactly as as it came from processing with all of its faults and positives so they choose either a gaiwan or a more dense clay that doesn't absorb aroma and gives similar results as porcelain so as to see the "true nature of the leaf". But some others (like myself) like to "round out" those faults such as astringency & thin mouthfeel by using a more porous clay with medium-thick walls. So you see it all depends on what your individual tastes are and what you personally like to bring out/mask in the tea!
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby ethan » Dec 28th, '12, 16:55

ImmortaliTea,
Reading your post, I read:
Thin yixing can help avoid "stewed vegetable taste" of the green(er) oolongs; medium-thick yixing can thicken mouthfeel of some tea. I'm not clear on some other points you were making (my fault not yours).

I have 3 thin-walled yixing pots. 2 deliver all the good flavor of low oxidation oolong, medium oxidation oolong, & one aged oolong. Those 2 also seemed to have tamed some of the bitterness of some inferior tea I had been using. The third pot does not seem to influence the taste of any tea I try in it.

I decided to divide use of the yixing this way:
1 pot for what I describe as subtle, sweet oolongs; 1 for bolder oolongs (+oxidation or roasting); 1 for very green oolong & green tea.

To test I will sometimes use a glazed pot or glass. Any advice?
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby ImmortaliTEA » Dec 28th, '12, 17:23

ethan wrote:ImmortaliTea,
Reading your post, I read:
Thin yixing can help avoid "stewed vegetable taste" of the green(er) oolongs; medium-thick yixing can thicken mouthfeel of some tea. I'm not clear on some other points you were making (my fault not yours).

I have 3 thin-walled yixing pots. 2 deliver all the good flavor of low oxidation oolong, medium oxidation oolong, & one aged oolong. Those 2 also seemed to have tamed some of the bitterness of some inferior tea I had been using. The third pot does not seem to influence the taste of any tea I try in it.

I decided to divide use of the yixing this way:
1 pot for what I describe as subtle, sweet oolongs; 1 for bolder oolongs (+oxidation or roasting); 1 for very green oolong & green tea.

To test I will sometimes use a glazed pot or glass. Any advice?


If there is any way you can post pictures of all the pots and teas and then list the teas in word underneath and I will be able to help out much more than I could otherwise!
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby wyardley » Dec 28th, '12, 18:15

Exempt wrote:This is probably a stupid question but if the goal is to keep the heat up, why does everyone seem to recommend thin porcelain or thin yixing for oolongs? It seems that the thicker the material the longer it should retain heat

To me, the goal isn't always to keep the heat up, but it depends on the tea, your personal taste, how well your kettle retains heat and how high you're pouring from, and so forth.

But yes, part of the reason I suggested a thin porcelain gaiwan is because it will not hold the heat in as much as most Yixing pots, and also makes it easy to pour quickly, control the heat (by pouring on the rim, for example), and so forth.

ImmortaliTEA wrote:I believe the reason why some people recommend thin yixing or thin porcelain for oolongs is because sometimes people might be referring to a lighter oxidized or roasted type of oolong such as green TGY, Gaoshan, 20% Green Dan Chong, or Bai Ji Guan. For me personally, I do not like to brew any of the above teas in anything with thick walls (because I don't like the collard greens/spinach taste that can occur with lighter oolongs that have been "stewed" with too much heat) and they all should come out great in a nice thin gaiwan,

Agree to a point, but as mentioned above, I think the quality of the tea is also a big factor.

Also, it's not just the fact that it makes it easier not to "stew" the leaves, but also that it seems to absorb a bit less fragrance.

I'm not at all saying that people shouldn't use Yixing pots to brew these teas, though. Just that, in most cases, the results will not be so drastically different, and in many cases, they may actually be better. We are talking about small differences here. Eventually the OP will get both, and can make a decision about which he or she prefers.

I am not only suggesting this for lighter teas. I have great results with high-fire yancha in a thin porcelain gaiwan. I think with certain heavily roasted teas, babying them a little in terms of temperature can bring out more fragrance and reduce some of the sharpness.

For high-fire balled teas like tieguanyin, I'm more likely to use a pot, preferably with a roundish shape. That's partially because in that case, you actually kind of want the leaves to be pressed against the pot.
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby Exempt » Dec 28th, '12, 18:42

Here's the pot I'm thinking of buying in case anyone is interested. The exact same shape has been posted 2 or 3 times on the yixing show off thread
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby bagua7 » Dec 28th, '12, 20:08

Does Tea Masters sell this particular pot? Is it advertised as Yixing or Taiwanese?
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby Exempt » Dec 28th, '12, 20:11

bagua7 wrote:Does Tea Masters sell this particular pot? Is it advertised as Yixing or Taiwanese?

I emailed him and specifically asked for a small pot, he says this is the smallest he has (85ml) and would be best used for roasted oolong. This is the info he gave me "The pour is very good. It's a basic zisha, purple, clay. Made in the early 2000 (or end of 1990s). Craftmanship is good for the price. Firing temperature is high " He also said "The walls are quite thin, not eggshell thin, but thinner than most pots"
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby wyardley » Dec 28th, '12, 21:34

You can make good tea with or without the pot. My suggestion is, buy the pot if you like it and can afford it, and try it out with different teas to see what you like, rather than choosing the tea you'll brew with it before you get the pot.

FWIW, most dancong tends to be low roast, and moderate to high oxidation.
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby Exempt » Dec 28th, '12, 22:07

wyardley wrote:You can make good tea with or without the pot. My suggestion is, buy the pot if you like it and can afford it, and try it out with different teas to see what you like, rather than choosing the tea you'll brew with it before you get the pot.

FWIW, most dancong tends to be low roast, and moderate to high oxidation.

Ya, this is probably the best thing to do. And I know most dancongs are low roast, Stephane only recommended roasted oolongs. I'll just have to try it out and see.
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby Tead Off » Dec 28th, '12, 23:23

Exempt wrote:
jayinhk wrote:
Exempt wrote:And Adam, I do have a couple gaiwans and 2 yixing pots (albiet not great). I am fairly experienced with puerh but I am only beginning to venture into oolong. I have decided that I enjoy wuyi and dan congs more than any other type and that is why I wanted to dedicate a yixing teapot.


IMO Wuyi oolongs and Dancong benefit less from Yixing use than pu erh, but a good pot will make it taste better. Kind of sick of dancong at present, but I use two thin walled zisha Yixings for my TGY and SX and I do feel they bring the best out of my tea and allow me to keep the temperature up, especially in later infusions.

This is probably a stupid question but if the goal is to keep the heat up, why does everyone seem to recommend thin porcelain or thin yixing for oolongs? It seems that the thicker the material the longer it should retain heat

Some people believe that thin walled vessels don't cook greener teas as much as thick walled vessels. The idea is that green oolongs are more delicate than roasted ones. Since they say thin-walled vessels loose heat faster, they are better for green tea and green oolongs. Is it true? You have to decide for yourself.
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby hopeofdawn » Dec 29th, '12, 00:11

Possibly slightly off-topic, but something I've wondered--in the modern era of central heating, it's not generally a concern, but I wonder if one of the reasons yixing pots (esp. the thicker-walled variety) historically became so popular simply was because they retained heat so well.

Going through a couple days of a power outage in the middle of last winter taught me how desperate you can be for a hot mug of tea to warm both your insides and your outsides. I could see where, especially in the winter, if you've gone through all the effort to stoke a fire and boil your water, you probably don't want your tea turning stone cold in a porcelain gaiwan/pot right after you pour it ...
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby Tead Off » Dec 29th, '12, 01:26

hopeofdawn wrote:Possibly slightly off-topic, but something I've wondered--in the modern era of central heating, it's not generally a concern, but I wonder if one of the reasons yixing pots (esp. the thicker-walled variety) historically became so popular simply was because they retained heat so well.

Going through a couple days of a power outage in the middle of last winter taught me how desperate you can be for a hot mug of tea to warm both your insides and your outsides. I could see where, especially in the winter, if you've gone through all the effort to stoke a fire and boil your water, you probably don't want your tea turning stone cold in a porcelain gaiwan/pot right after you pour it ...

Has this ever happened to you?
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby David R. » Dec 29th, '12, 13:25

Exempt wrote:Here's the pot I'm thinking of buying in case anyone is interested. The exact same shape has been posted 2 or 3 times on the yixing show off thread


And can you tell us what price he is asking ?

Based on my personnal experience, I wouldn't go for a teapot for most Phoenix dan cong.
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Yixing pairing

Postby Exempt » Dec 29th, '12, 13:41

David R. wrote:
Exempt wrote:Here's the pot I'm thinking of buying in case anyone is interested. The exact same shape has been posted 2 or 3 times on the yixing show off thread


And can you tell us what price he is asking ?

Based on my personnal experience, I wouldn't go for a teapot for most Phoenix dan cong.

I'm actually probably going to try it out on some wuyi based on Stephane's recommendation. I'm buying it for $60 and $7 dollars shipping
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Re: Yixing pairing

Postby brunogm » Dec 31st, '12, 11:29

David R. wrote:Based on my personnal experience, I wouldn't go for a teapot for most Phoenix dan cong.


I am just learning the ropes and I feel I will have trouble finding a good teapot for Dan Cong. This kind of tea looks tricky to brew.

Yesterday I tried some Dan Cong (Mi Lan a.k.a Honey Orchid) in a gaiwan. I started by following the brewing instructions from Teahabitat, who seem to know their way around Dan Cong.

It is to start with almost brewing water for the first steep, then progressively decrease water temperature as the leaves open and become more fragile. It was good, or rather, great, until the 4th steep. At which point I said to myself, "I have established I love this tea, now let's try something different". I turned water temperature back up to 95°C for the 5th steep.

This ruined the tea by making it overly bitter.
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